Game center, Round 12: Streaks stop here
One losing streak and two winning streaks came to an end with Thursday’s exciting action and Round 12 is only half over! Friday will feature another clash between powerhouses CSKA Moscow and Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv, this time in Moscow where Maccabi has not won since 2004 on an Anthony Parker three at the buzzer. And Coach Velimir Perasovic and Anadolu Efes Istanbul will host the coach’s former side, which he took to the EuroLeague Final Four twice, Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz.
Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul 89-90 Zalgiris Kaunas
Zalgiris edged the reigning champs 89-90 on the road on Thursday in a thriller that came down to the final buzzer. Paulius Jankunas scored the go-ahead free throws with 40 seconds left, Aaron White came up with a key block at the other end and Arturas Milaknis all but sealed the win with a late triple as Zalgiris improved to 7-5 with its fourth road win of the season. The result ended Fenerbahce’s four-game winning streak and dropped its record to 8-4. Kevin Pangos produced a career-high 22 points on 4-of-5 three-point shooting plus 7 assists to lead the winners. Jan Vesely paced Feenrbahce with 20 points.
Brose Bamberg 67-65 Olympiacos Piraeus
Brose Bamberg chalked up yet another crazy comeback victory by recovering from 12 points down to end Olympiacos Piraeus’s five-game winning streak with a stunning 67-65 victory. Brose trailed by 10 points with 5:39 remaining, but a 13-0 run sent Andrea Trinchieri’s team ahead and intense defense did the rest, with Olympiacos held to just 7 points in the final quarter and unable to get off a shot to force overtime with the final play of the game. Dorell Wright led the way with 20 points and 7 rebounds, and there were 15 points for Augustine Rubit who was crucial during the final quarter. Georgios Printezis scored 12 for the Reds, who paid the price for making only 11-of-30 two-point attempts (36.7%).
Unicaja Malaga 93-84 Khimki Moscow Region
Unicaja Malaga snapped its five-game losing streak by hitting a season-high 13 triples and topping visiting Khimki Moscow Region 93-84 on Thursday. Unicaja improving to 4-8 on the season, while Khimki lost despite tying its EuroLeague record with 16 three-pointers made and is now 7-5. Neither team had a lead bigger than 4 points in the first three quarters, but Unicaja used an 11-0 run in the final five minutes of the game to secure victory. Nemanja Nedovic and James Augustine paces the hosts; Nedovic scored 21 points and dished 7 assists, while Augustine collected 14 points and career-highs of 12 rebounds and 5 steals. Alexey Shved shot 5-for-17 from three-point land, which tied for third-most three-point attempts in the competition this century, and finished with 28 points in defeat.
Real Madrid 87-75 FC Barcelona Lassa
In a much-anticipated El Clasico in Turkish Airlines EuroLeague action, Real Madrid downed FC Barcelona Lassa 87-75 in the Spanish capital on Thursday. Madrid improved to 6-6 in the regular season standings, while Barcelona dropped to 4-8. Luka Doncic led the winners with 16 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists. Felipe Reyes added 14 points and 8 rebounds, Trey Thompkins had 12 points while Facu Campazzo, Rudy Fernandez and Jaycee Carroll each got 10 for Madrid. Ante Tomic led Barcelona with 12 points. Pierre Oriola and Thomas Heurtel each added 11 for the guests. It was 40-38 at halftime before Thompkins led a 0-8 run that made it a double-digit game, 48-38. Barcelona kept struggling to score, while Jeffery Taylor, Thompkins and a 21-meter bomb from Doncic boosted Madrid's lead to 68-52 after 30 minutes and the hosts had cruised to a well-deserved win.
CSKA Moscow 101-86 Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv
CSKA Moscow seized sole possession of first place with both hands by beating Maccabi 101-86 at Megasport Arena in the Russian capital to reach a 10-2 record. A 28-14 second-quarter blast proved enough even after Maccabi trimmed the difference to 90-84 in the final minute, before Nando De Colo final 6 points of 26 settled the matter. Sergio Rodriguez followed with a double-double of 15 points and 11 assists, while Maccabi's Norris Cole had 24 points, 7 assists and 4 steals for the visitors.
Anadolu Efes Istanbul 81-82 Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz
In an outstanding showdown that went down to the last seconds, Baskonia rallied from an nine-point deficit in the final five minutes to edge host Efes 81-82 on Friday. Baskonia's record is now 6-6 and Efes dropped to 4-8. Toko Shengelia led the winners with 17 points. Matt Janning and Vincent Poirier each added 16 points for Baskonia, while Jayson Granger dished 10 assists. Poirier added 12 rebounds and 5 blocks. Errick McCollum led Efes with 21 points. Bryant Dunston added 14 while Zoran Dragic, Vladimir Stimac and Ricky Ledo each had 10 for the hosts. Stimac added 17 rebounds, a EuroLeague season high. Baskonia trailed 76-67 with under 6 minutes left but managed to rally and get the lead, 81-82, on go-ahead free throws by Poirier with 3.1 seconds remaining.
Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens vs AX Armani Exchange Milan
Panathinaikos (7-4) seeks a swift return to its winning ways against a Milan (3-8) side that has lost three in a row. The visiting team is battling against recent form: Panathinaikos has won all five home games so far this season and averaged 84 points in the process, while Milan has a 1-4 record on the road. The Italian side could try to slow down Panathinaikos’s offense by sending the home team to the foul line rather than allowing uncontested shots – the Greens have the worst free-throw conversion rate in the league, making just 65.4% of their attempts.
Valencia Basket vs Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade
After converting 31 three-pointers in its last two games, both of which ended in victories to climb away from the foot of the standings, on the rise Zvezda (4-7) will look to inflict more misery upon a Valencia team (3-8) that has lost seven in a row. The Spanish champ will feel like a much-needed victory is getting closer after losing by just 1, 8 and 3 points in its last three outings and has converted the league’s second-highest number of three-pointers (9.8 per game) ahead of a contest which could easily become a long-range shoot-out considering Zvezda’s recent record.